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Acquittals And Sealing Your Record

So you took your case to trial and were found not guilty. Congratulations! That is a tremendous feat. However, even though a judge or jury found you not guilty of your charges, you still have a criminal record.

However, Florida law requires that you seal an acquittal (finding of "not guilty") rather than expunge it. The differences between sealing and expunging a criminal record are relatively minor but they are two different procedures.

Sealing a record has nearly the same legal effect as an expungement. Under certain circumstances, you may legally deny your arrest provided you have no other arrest history and provided you are not in a situation in which you must disclose a sealed or expunged record.

A sealed record can be expunged after 10 years.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney who assists clients in the sealing or expunging of their criminal records throughout the State of Florida.